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John Nettles exits Midsomer Murders

Midsomer Murders

Story by Jack Foley

JOHN Nettles is to quit the role of DCI Tom Barnaby in ITV crime serial Midsomer Murders, it has been announced.

The 65-year-old, who has starred in the drama since it began in 1996, will film his final scenes in 2010 and has wished his successor the best of luck as ITV intends to continue commissioning the show.

When he departs, Nettles will have chalked up 75 appearances across 13 seasons on the show and has already described it as marking “the end of an era”. A new lead character is set to be introduced for the start of the 14th series.

Reflecting on his time as DCI Barnaby, Nettles – who made his name in another long-running detective drama, Bergerac – said: “I never thought when we were filming the pilot, The Killings at Badger’s Drift, in 1996 that I would go on to film so many episodes.

“It has been a joy to be involved in such a long-running series, with so many good actors and great storylines. And while I’m very sad to be handing in Barnaby’s police badge, he has solved nearly 200 murders, which I think meets the targets of modern policing!”

Series producer Brian True-May is confident that Midsomer Murders will continue to thrive with a new character at its helm, citing shows such as Taggart as examples of shows that have continued after the departure of main characters.

Midsomer Murders has enjoyed an illustrious history, drawing several notable guest appearances from top-name stars including Orlando Bloom and Oscar nominee Imelda Staunton.